| 20 June 2024, Thursday |

Russian drone attacks damage a grain silo in Odessa, Ukraine

On Thursday, October 5th, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that traces of explosive grenades were found in the remains of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, along with his crew following the fatal plane crash over Russia in August.
The plane of Prigozhin crashed between Saint Petersburg and Moscow in August, two months after a brief mutiny was led by him against the top military brass of Russia. The critics of the Kremlin and the Western nations have hinted at foul play.

The comments made by Putin were the first significant ones made by him after an investigation was launched by Russia into the crash.
“The head of the Investigative Committee reported to me a few days ago,” said Putin, while speaking at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club.

“Fragments of hand grenades were found in the bodies of the victims of the air disaster. There was no external impact on the plane,” he added.

Russian investigators have stated that they are investigating all the possible scenarios related to the crash, which included premeditated murder.

On Thursday, Putin slammed investigators for not carrying out alcohol and drug tests on Prigozhin along with nine other victims of the crash.

He further slammed that five kilogrammes of cocaine were discovered at the Wagner offices after the short-lived rebellion of the mercenary group.
“A blood test for alcohol was not done,” said Putin. “Even though we know that after the famous events in the (Wagner) company in Saint Petersburg, the FSB (security service) found not only 10 billion in cash, but also five kilogrammes of cocaine,” he added.

An armed rebellion was led by Prigozhin against the military leadership of Moscow in June which turned out to be the biggest threat to the two-decade rule of Putin.

After the death of Prigozhin, Putin said that he was a man who had made “serious mistakes in his life but he achieved the right results.”

However, the Kremlin refuted suggestions stating that they orchestrated the plane crash in revenge for the march of Wagner in Moscow.

Putin calls Canada’s ex-parliament speaker ‘idiot’
Making another strong statement, President Putin called Canada’s former parliament speaker an “idiot” after a Ukrainian World War II veteran, who had a history of fighting alongside the Nazis, was celebrated in the legislature of Canada.

Putin was talking about an embarrassing incident which marred Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Canada last month.

When Zelensky was visiting the parliament, then-parliament speaker Anthony Ruta called an elderly Ukrainian immigrant a hero as members of the parliament gave him a standing ovation. Ruta had to resign after it was discovered that the veteran had actually served in a Nazi-linked military unit.

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